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Dealing with Mental Health

Two people discuss the rise in mental health issues.

Christian: So recently, I've been coming across a lot of mental health posts on social media, such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube. And I've just been wondering, what is mental health? Could you please explain it to me?

Tahia: Sure. So in a nutshell, mental health is about the day-in, day-out state of our emotional, psychological and social wellbeing. But unfortunately, we tend to neglect our mental health and brush it aside until it snowballs into a more serious problem and even a mental health disorder in some cases.

Christian: Wow. Okay. Could you please explain what is a mental health disorder, and what kind of different mental health disorders are there?


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Tahia: So, everybody experiences mental health issues, but for some people, they might have a mental health disorder genetically, or for some people, they might develop mental health disorders over time. So there are about five categories of mental health disorders, I would say. The first one is mood disorders like depression and bipolar, where you can be really happy one moment and extremely sad the next, and this can actually start interrupting your day to day life and your ability to complete simple tasks. There's also psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, where you can hallucinate. There's body disorders like anorexia and body dysmorphia, which affects the way that you look at yourself physically and ultimately affects how you psychologically perceive yourself. There are also cognitive disorders, which are issues relating to learning difficulties, Alzheimer's and things like this. And then the final, perhaps most common area of mental health disorders is anxiety, which includes things like social anxiety and OCD, which stands for obsessive compulsive disorder. So this could be for example, obsessively cleaning, because you feel as though if you don't clean, you're being lazy or you feel like you can't be productive. So that's kind of the five different categories of mental health disorders that I think are out there at the moment.

Christian: Wow. That's very interesting. And I do think that I have social anxiety because whenever I go out, I tend to get very nervous and sweaty. So for someone like me and for other people that may have other mental health disorders, what can we do to improve our mental health?

Tahia: Well, depending on what you think you're struggling with, there are loads of different techniques and specific things that you can do to tackle them. So, for example, have you seen fidget toys recently on social media?

Christian: Yeah, I have.

Tahia: So, fidget toys are a really good way to just manage your anxiety. So, for example, my little sister loves using fidget toys when she's speaking or when she's thinking about something that's making her feel stressed out. It's just a way of physically releasing some of the energy that you have built up inside of you because of your anxiety.

Christian: Wow. That's amazing. I think I'm going to have to buy one.

Tahia: Definitely. I would recommend it. But apart from more specific things that you can do, I have some general advice. I think that we really have to take care of our physical health, meaning exercising and eating and drinking the right foods and lots of water. We also have to make sure that we're spending time with our friends and families and then we take time for ourselves. I personally love meditating as this is me time. And I also like doing self care activities like putting on a mask and going to the salon to look and feel good. I would really recommend that you spend a lot of me time and do have a self-care activity that you care about. What activity would you do?

Christian: I think I would do meditating, but I'm not too sure how to do it. Could you please explain to me how I could meditate?

Tahia: Sure. There are loads of useful apps that you could use that gives you tips and techniques on how to meditate. One that I use is Balance, and it teaches me how to use breathing techniques to manage my stress. For example, by breathing in for four seconds, holding my breath for seven seconds and breathing out for eight seconds, which is called the 4-7-8 technique. You should definitely try that.

Christian: Amazing. I will definitely try that. Thank you.

Answer these questions about the interview.
Audio Lessons about Phrases and Vocabulary

come across

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I've been coming across a lot of mental health posts on social media.

The phrase 'to come across' here means to notice or encounter something by chance. Notice the following:

  1. I came across an article you might like.
  2. Recently, I've come across a lot people with mood issues.

in a nut shell

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So in a nutshell, mental health is about social wellbeing.

The prhase 'in a nutshell' is used when explaining something in very few words or basic terms. Notice the following:

  1. In a nutshell, we all need to eat a healthy diet.
  2. Our marriage was complicated, but in a nutshell, we both wanted different things.

brush it aside

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we tend to neglect our mental health and brush it aside

The phrase 'to brush aside' means to ignore something or not worry about it. Notice the following:

  1. This is serious. Don't just brush it aside.
  2. He tends to brush aside all of his problems.

snowball

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It snowballs into a more serious problem

When something snowballs, it grows from a small problem to a big problem. Notice the following:

  1. His minor health problems snowballed into serious issues.
  2. His problems at work just snowballed out of control.

built up inside

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It's a way of releasing the energy that you have built up inside of you.

When something is built up inside of something or someone, that means it has grown or increaed, usually in a negative way. Notice the following:

  1. I had a lot of anger that had built up inside of me.
  2. There was resentment built up inside of her for his success.

apart from

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But apart from more specific things, I have some general advice

The phrase 'apart from' is the same as the word 'besides' or 'except.'. Notice the following:

  1. Apart from golf or tennis, I love sports.
  2. Apart from occasionally eating fish, I'm a vegetarian.

me time

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I personally love meditating as this is me time.

The phrase 'me time' refers to activities people do alone to feel refreshed or relaxed. Notice the following:

  1. Moms often need some me time to destress.
  2. At night, I like to go for long walks for some me time.

Vocabulary Quiz

across • nutshell • brush • snowball
build up • apart from • me time
  1. In a , you need to work more.
  2. Bad things can in a hurry.
  3. I really need some .
  4. Well, green tea, I like all ice cream flavors.
  5. You should never aside signs of poor health.
  6. I recently came an interesting article.
  7. You should not let stress inside of you.

How to Practice Grammar | Download the Worksheet

  • Choose the correct word for each blank.
  • Check you score at the end. Three attempts are allowed.
  • Study Tip - Play the video and choose the words as you listen.

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1528 Meditation
Mark tallks about practicing meditation.
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1527 Zen Life
Mark talks about the art of being zen.
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